The number of women in Korea who intend to start their own business was one of the lowest among developed countries, a report showed.
Only 19.8 percent of women were interested in starting a business in 2010, according to a report by the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade on Thursday.
This was significantly lower than the corresponding figures for other members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ― 51.2 percent in Mexico, 43.3 percent in the United States, 34 percent in the United Kingdom and 32.6 percent in Japan.
The proportion of women-led companies has been rising in recent years but the increase has been slight.
The proportion of female business founders rose, from 21.7 percent in 2010 to 22.6 percent in 2012. When it came to venture companies, however, the proportion was a mere 5.3 percent in 2011.
One of the key reasons is that women still tend to avoid natural science and engineering majors, according to the KIET.
“Most venture businesses are based on information technology or creative engineering,” said a KIET official.
Also, the government’s projects to support women’s business start-ups have largely been insufficient or inefficient, the official added.
“There are various business education courses or related exhibitions, but few of them resulted in actual business creation,” he said.
The institute urged the government to develop new promotional programs based on more modern traits.
“The industrial environment and customer demand have greatly changed in the 21st century, to focus on beauty, sensitivity, flexibility and creativity,” said the official.
In order to boost the number of jobs and to revive the economy, specialized business support services should be available, such as an exclusive business foundation consultation center for women, he added.
By Bae Hyun-jung (email@example.com